Links 1/3/10


  1. LeeAnne

    “Internet a very large-scale spying machine” – info leaking site co-founder Russia Today

    John Young has appeared often on Alex Jones Internet radio program and website, Prison Planet.

    Following is a particularly interesting article from his site about Yahoo and Verizon’s government paid cyber spying on customer emails and friends. John Young is one of the founders of Cryptome.

    Particularly interesting is Verizon and Yahoo concern that they would “be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.”

    Here’s to ridicule and public shame!

    Yahoo Threatens Cryptome Over Leaked Surveillance Document
    The Alex Jones Channel Prison Planet TV
    Kurt Nimmo
    December 6, 2009

    Verizon and Yahoo filed an objection to the FOIA request on the grounds the information was proprietary and that the companies would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.

    And, it looks like Bush/CIA ‘starve the beast’ policies for destroying loyal civil service bureaucracies accountable to the people is in full force here for government control of the Internet.

    Cybersecurity chief Beckstrom resigns (Reuters)

    * Posted on Fri Mar 6, 2009 11:46PM EST

    Beckstrom said in his letter that the cybersecurity group did not receive adequate support to accomplish its role during the previous administration of President George W. Bush, which only provided the center with five weeks of funding in the last year.

  2. Ignim Brites

    In “Soon To-Be Ex-Congressman John Hall Warns Against Creeping Fascism” (New York Observer) …Hall said, “I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism.”

    Actually this is the Marxist caricature of Fascism. The true fascist seeks the domination of the corporate structure by the fascist party-state. And the true fascist is not shy about employing animal brutality and terror against the corporate elite to achieve this.

    1. Paul Repstock

      LOL. The Sarbanes/Oxley bagman wasn’t even subtle about it. Sadly, the Ceo’s were so busy looting their companies, they just paid-up. Cost of doing business…

  3. Michael Iverson

    Darrel Issa should be careful about throwing stones in a glass house. Issa himself does not have a squeaky clean past, especially when it comes to his business dealings.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      It’s impossible to differentiate pot from kettle; both are too heavily crusted with soot.

      So kleptocrat Issa now begins the perennial crusade against waste, fraud, and abuse—just dramatic reruns, diversionary theater with lawyers, lobbyists, accountants, and pundits jockeying for the better scripts, while, in time-honored tradition, the sheeple get reamed.

      In this case, to distract from the preordained bipartisan collusion to loot Social Security and perhaps start another war, there must be plenty of noise and drama. It may even require a serious sex scandal.

    2. Glen

      No mention of going after the Treasury or Fed Reserve over their dodgy dealings, wilful blindness or the failure of the banking regulators to manage the financial system. What a dickhead.

  4. Amit Chokshi

    To quote the Godfather, Issa “is a pimp” and more accurately a car thief. There’s nothing left to say/report when it comes to Republicans, they are thug scumbags, the whole lot of them and are hellbent to destroy this country so they can be kings.

    1. Ignim Brites

      This from the Gonzalo Lira piece seems to be pretty much in line with my characterization of fascism. “For our purposes, I think we should use the syndicalist-corporatist definition as practiced by Mussolini: Society as a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all, and thus as a virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions.” (emphasis added) In this sense, the Citizens United case about which Hall complains is anti-fascist, since campaign financing laws seek the subjugation of the corporate sector to the state.

      This by the way is not to say that that vast expenditures on lobbying and elections by corporations or wealthy individuals cannot be regarded as troubling.

      1. Antifa

        Fascism has about two dozen facets to it, so any of us seeking a single sentence definition are necessarily going to sound like blind men describing an elephant — focus on one end and you miss the other end AND the whole effect of the creature.

        Or sound like a Zen master trying to express everything he knows in one parable — all it does is intrigue us, show us glimpses of a far horizon.

        The best definitions remind us of the original Roman meaning of the term, this being the ‘bundle of sticks’ that may be broken individually but cannot be broken when tied together. This image reminds that behind every face of fascism is this urge to subsume the individual life entirely into serving a larger body — the tribe, the corporation, the union, the cause, the religion, or the State. The essential urge and act of fascism is to ‘tie up’ and erase the individual life and feed it into the greater body.

        There are no individuals in fascism, only the tribe, bund, union, league, faith, mission, Fatherland, Motherland, Homeland, Eurasia, Oceania, America the Greatest, the Empire, etc. Something bigger than any one, bigger than all, which all must serve with everything they’ve got. Or else. With us or against us.

        This applies to religious movements as well, like the Christian Dominionists, Joel’s Army, Seven Mountains movement lurking among evangelical churches nowadays. Calls for restoring America to its ‘Christian roots’ are fascist by definition.

        Politically, fascism is a State where individual citizens and corporate ‘super citizens’ alike are brought entirely, absolutely into line for a glorious future that is always just a few years away, that is perpetually just a few more supreme sacrifices from here.

        Doesn’t sound human, does it? More like two-legged logs being fed into a glorious wood chipper for some goal they will never see attained. It’s easy to see why humanism and liberalism and individualism are anathema to fascist thinking; they are its polar opposites in action and thought and aims.

        Right now, America is a State captured by its corporations and their wealthy owners, a government of, by and for the wealthy interests pushing the American economic empire abroad at any and all costs under the rubric of globalization (“What’s good for Wall Street is good for everyone!”).

        Well, it’s not good for everyone. Globalization has failed and will fail as people everywhere continue to wiggle out from under the umbrella of America’s money/military hegemony. But the effort will have the eventual effect of utterly wrecking America domestically as our wealthy elites continue to loot our assets and escape to better investment opportunities elsewhere.

        Full blown fascism will only arrive when the time comes to rebuild a shattered America, when all citizens are called upon (or drafted) to help restore America to some shining state of glory it supposedly once had. That’s when whomever and whatever is left behind will be subsumed into a fully State-oriented mission to achieve the American Dream once again. For the Gipper, I suppose.

        Relax. We have many years of looting by the wealthy ahead of us before the rich are raptured off to Paraguay.

        That’s when we will elect “a strong leader.”

  5. Halbhh

    Certainly the problems with the birds and the bees and the fish and…well, certainly all the mass die offs have NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO AT ALL with all the fun new sprays that make some of our massive modern ag so profitable and abundant. Certianly Bayer and other great makers of argi chemicals would never do an old-fashioned tragedy of the commons thing, would they?

    1. craazyman

      this stuff has been happening for centuries. Check out Fortean Phenomenon.

      In this case, I bet it was that Pseudorandom Derivatives model from yesterday. I bet they let it out of the lab for a few minutes, and sure enough . . . bowahahah.

  6. ScottS

    Interesting bit about the overly-developed conservative brain area. Coupled with this fascinating paper on authoritarianism, it explains a lot:

    ” We know an awful lot about authoritarian followers. In one way or another, hundreds of social scientists have studied them since World War II. We have a pretty good idea of who they are, where they come from, and what makes them tick. By comparison, we know little about authoritarian leaders because we only recently started studying them. That may seem strange, but how hard is it to figure out why someone would like to have massive amounts of power? The
    psychological mystery has always been, why would someone prefer a dictatorship to freedom? So social scientists have focused on the followers, who are seen as the main, underlying problem. “

    1. Paul Repstock

      Authoritarian leaders are made not particularly ‘born’.
      This is an age old problem steming from human tendancy for avoiding responsibility.
      Two main chracteristics are required of authoritarian leaders: oratory skill and a marketable adgenda. If Mr. Obama can lead the American people a bit further down the road of demanding security, he has it in the bag.

      1. ScottS

        Did you read the paper? I couldn’t stop. I finished almost in one sitting.

        What’s interesting is that the authoritarian followers tend to “forgive” (or really, ignore) logical inconsistencies if they agree with the conclusion of a line of reasoning.

        And authoritarian leaders aren’t usually just amped-up, angrier versions of their followers. They are manifestly different creatures who know how to use their followers by exploiting the followers’ above-mentioned logical-blindness.

        The paper pins down the dynamic of right-wing religious conservatism exactly.

        1. Paul Repstock

          I hear you Scott. I haven’t read all of that book, but I will. My point was that the acendancy of ‘authoritarin leaders’, was a matter of circumstance. There are always going to be those who crave power. In my opinion ‘Leftwingnuts’ are wound just as tight as ‘Rightwingnuts’. What they need is that ‘marketable idea’, they need to be able to drag the commons along.

          If you haven’t seen it before..I think we have dodged a bullet here??

  7. Ron

    Political essay by 93-year-old tops Christmas bestseller list in France

    “This is an appeal to citizens, young and old, to take responsibility for the things in our society that don’t work,” he said. “I wish every one of you to find your own reason for indignation. It’s precious.”

  8. Paula

    The book by Stephane Hessel, Indignez vous is available on Amazon, both the Canadian site and the French site. It might be possible to order with a credit card and have it shipped to the US. Let me know if I can be useful.

  9. Hugh

    The Jerusalem Post is a conservative rag. I mean idiots like Wolf Blitzer used to work there. The article doesn’t break down its results. It could be right but from such an unreliable source we need to see more.

    As for the definition of fascism, the key symbol is the fasces, the bound rods with axe protruding carried by lictors before Roman magistrates as a symbol of the power and unity of Rome. The Romans were not, however, fascists. Their symbol was simply appropriated and re-interpreted by the early 20th century Italian “fascisti”. Mussolini and his followers had their ideas about what fascismo meant in their historical context. And that’s the point I which to transmit. They had ideas, plural, about fascism. There is nothing written in stone about this or any other political tendency, an exhaustive and definitive list to which nothing can be added or subtracted.

    Broadly speaking, fascism is about the melding of corporate and government power. Is this exactly the same as what Mussolini meant by fascism? Probably not, but then his use of the fascis is not what the Romans meant by it either. The communism of Marx and Engels is not the communism of the Soviet Union or China. All isms are open to multiple interpretations. Applying legalistic definitions to them really misses the point. It leads to upside down assertions like Citizens United was actually anti-fascist. Citizens United validated and strengthened the ties between government and corporations. Indeed it is not really possible to say anymore where corporations end and government begins. Nor are the players involved separate, with a political camp here and a corporate camp there. They are the same people on both sides of an increasingly non-existent divide. That melding of state and corporation is about as fascist as you can get.

    1. Antifa

      Well melded, indeed, with a revolving door between industry and government regulation agencies.

      This ‘soft fascism’ can and probably will continue until it has exhausted America’s assets, resources, currency and military all in service of corporate quarterly profits.

      And then we will get hard fascism, as people agree to anything, anyone that will put food on the table and a roof overhead and some self respect and dignity for a change.

      Fascism works better the more human beings are redefined as and reduced to beasts of labor.

      1. Paul Repstock

        LOL. I call this “The Unholy Trinity.”: Government/Civil service/Big Business. These are mutually dependant and in most cases the participants do not fight this structure. The trade offs between the three maintain a degree of stability and guarantee lives of privilege for the leaders of each group. The risks of imbalance will mostly be visited on common people, but those are unimportant.

  10. buzzp

    Did anyone notice Hall’s future plans?

    Hall declined to comment on his future plans. Rumors have been floating around that he is up for a job … with soon-to-be Governor Andrew Cuomo, possibly as head of the Department of Environmental Conversation.

    So aptly put, and true – conversation, not conservation.

  11. Doug Terpstra

    Re: BP disaster going global, Global Research has a horrifying related article, “The Gulf of Mexico is Dying” with greater detail and additional links to the BP/USG crime scene. Photos and geologic exhibits purport to show that damaged beds and faults are causing oil and methane seepage that is impossible to contain. It corroborates George Washington’s posts on ongoing dispersants used to sink the oil that now blankets large sea-floor dead zones.

    “Should the truth seep out and into the mass consciousness – that the GOM is slowly but surely filling up with oil and gas – certainly many would rightly question the integrity, and sanity, of the whole venture, as well as the entire industry itself. And then perhaps the process would begin of transitioning the planet away from the hydrocarbon fuel paradigm altogether.”

    1. Paul Repstock

      Thnx Red. Good link. Probably close to the truth. Possibly optimistic on the time line for both event and recovery.

  12. Sundog

    Tim Duy cites Yves among many others while discussing Robert Rubin’s legacy.

    Wall Street was making money hand over foot intermediating the current account deficit, which raises the question that many of us still have: Was Rubin working for the American people or Wall Street?

    As if there were a difference? We all know that America’s comparative advantage is in creating innovative financial products and part-time jobs that come with food-stamp application forms.

    Tim Duy, “What Is Rubin’s Legacy?”

  13. Kurt L.

    If you look carefully in the video interview with John Young (“Internet is a vast spying apparatus” on Russia Today), you’ll see a copy of Econned on his bookshelf!

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